CDC meets on deadly flu spike as South Bay family mourns loss of mother

Public health officials held a meeting at CDC Headquarters in Atlanta to address the deadliest flu season in decades. Officials were briefed on how to reduce the spread and how to help communities experiencing a medication shortage.

Today's meeting comes as a South Bay family mourns the loss of their loved one who died just hours after she was admitted to the hospital.

RELATED: How to protect yourself from the flu

Do you feel this has been a bad flu season? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it's true.

"This year's influenza season is particularly difficult," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Director of CDC.

COLD VS FLU: How to tell the difference

The CDC held a special meeting today to discuss the current flu season. The CDC says this year's virus, the H3N2, is incredibly difficult to work with, predict and prevent. It has also hit early and spread quickly all across the U.S. With a high number of hospitalizations and deaths; 42 adults under the age of 65 in California have died from flu complications since October; 19 of those have been in the Bay Area.

Family members of Katie Oxley Thomas are still in shock after the 40-year-old mother of three went to Good Samaritan Hospital's emergency room in San Jose earlier this month with flu symptoms. Thomas died 15 hours later.

RELATED: Flu takes life of vibrant South Bay mom

"I know that she could hear us and we're saying, Katie you can fight this, you can beat it. And we just didn't believe it. We were in total shock. It's still hard to believe," said Adrienne Oxley, Katie's stepmother.

Katie was a marathon runner and did yoga as well as Pilates, someone you would expect to beat the flu virus. Her family says they wanted to share their story as a way to encourage others to take the flu seriously and to get vaccinated.

VIDEO: Tips for preventing the flu

"It's really important to go there and get their flu shot and take care of the symptoms because we just thought she would be back home in a couple of days, and she wasn't," said Oxley.

The CDC says get vaccinated if you're not already and if you do have flu symptoms go to your doctor and get antiviral medicine.

If you need a flu vaccine you can find a place here:

Click here are the latest influenza reports from the Santa Clara County Health Department.

Click here for more stories, photos, and video on the flu.
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.